Is Micro Four Thirds Useful for Landscape Photography?

When it comes to landscape photography, there are generally three sensor sizes: APS-C, full frame, and medium format, but even smaller than APS-C is micro four thirds. In a genre that often requires significant physical exertion, such portable cameras can be quite attractive, but can those especially small sensors keep up with the demands of professionals and enthusiasts? This great video takes a look. 

Coming to you from Jason Friend Photography, this interesting video takes a look at using micro four thirds cameras and lenses for landscape photography. Traditionally, photographers opt for as large a sensor as possible given their needs and budget, but the advancements in modern sensor technology have broken this paradigm a bit, allowing creatives to prioritize other things as well, such as portability and features. And those two categories are where micro four thirds often shines, with its very small size allowing photographers to carry a bag of equipment with ease. Furthermore, many micro four thirds cameras have some of the most innovative features on the market, which is part of the reason it maintains such a fiercely loyal fan base. And, of course, there are typically much more affordable. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Friend.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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You might as well ask is a camera useful for photography! I don’t own a micro 4/3rds camera but several of my friends do and they shoot landscapes. I suppose the answer to your question is therefore yes.
It all depends on how and what you shoot, your photographic needs and what you find acceptable.

Mr Galen Rowell squeezed amazing landscapes out of 35mm film. Mr Ansel Adams shot the iconic Moon and Half Dome on 120 film. Many claim micro 4/3 would outprint 35mm film even in the former's 16mp days, and even surpassed 120. (Although I have to wonder If Micro 4/3 could deliver 120 black and white tonality gradations. Maybe someday I'll try and see.)

I'm pretty sure M43 does not outperform 120 film, though for DR you van stack bracketed shots in ways no one typically did back in the film era, I do believe M43 and modern lenses will outperform 35mm on many aspects, DR and sharpness.

The thing with modern FF cameras is that they're sonfar beyond film, you get that even if you don't know what you're doing. A good photographer will learn the abilities and limits of any medium, and technology, and get great images. That really is what matters.

FWIW, here's an article from almost 8 years ago making the claim that micro 4/3 even then outprinted medium format.

At the Online Photographer wesbsite, can search for an article:

And again at the mu-43 website that discusses the above article, can search for:

I myself have never performed the experiment.

Is water wet?

I took up micro four thirds when I started flying quite a bit. I can get a fantastic amount of kit into a small ruscksack and a travel tripod in my suitcase. The decision to opt for smaller sensors has worked well and I've sold both wildlife and landscape images printed on A1 and A2 taken with a Lumix G9 and a range of the Leica lenses available, although even the normal Panasonic versions perform well. I'm now looking forward to getting the G9 mark 2 (where are all the reviews on Fstoppers?) and will continue to use my GX9 and prime lenses for street photography - at least untill a replacement with the new 25 megapixel sensor becomes available. Thanks for this very positive video. Too many of the photography video creators have been seduced by the latest full frame cameras such as the Nikon Z8 after previously using the Z7, but how much pressure to upgrade came from Nikon - no doubt a lucrative partner. I saw one video recently where a well-known person was shooting with his Z8 using a hefty tripod but was then seen walking along a path without the tripod. Perhaps getting an assistant like a caddy is the solution for full frame addicts who want to keep their backs in good condition.

Dynamic range is certainly not as good as larger formats. However, I often manage to produce very large panoramic files by using my Panasonic G9's high-res mode (sensor shift). Each RAW file is 80MP with lots of details. By stitching a row of shots together, a 300+ MP panoramic is very doable.